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Portman Road (ATT 23,536) 26th December 2008 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: I Williamson

Ipswich Ipswich Town vs Birmingham City Birm'ham


Blues move level with Royals

McFadden penalty sees off Ipswich

By Ben Collins.   Last Updated: 26/12/08 10:22pm

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McFadden: Match-winning penalty

McFadden: Match-winning penalty

James McFadden's penalty gave Birmingham a 1-0 win at Ipswich and took the Blues level on points with Reading.

The Scotland international put Alex McLeish's side into a 39th-minute lead and the Premier League hopefuls held on to move within seven points of Championship leaders Wolves.

Birmingham saw Reading leapfrog them into second place last weekend but bounced back to winning ways at Portman Road as the home side continue to struggle in 13th place.

Surprise recall

Ivan Campo won a surprise recall for his first appearance in over two months in the Ipswich back four and the former Bolton and Real Madrid man was instantly involved.

Intricate passing in the Birmingham midfield ended with Cameron Jerome being played in down the left-hand side of the penalty area and his powerful shot looked to be heading for the target until Campo turned it round a post with a sliding block.

Liam Ridgewell then produced an excellent challenge of his own to deny Danny Haynes at the other end before Alan Quinn sent a powerful strike just wide as Jim Magilton's side stepped up the pressure.

The impressive Haynes then fashioned a chance for Jonathan Stead but his shot was blocked by Radhi Jaidi before Haynes was forced off with an injury.

Jerome was ploughing a lone furrow in attack for Birmingham and again created a moment of panic when he turned and lashed a shot over from the edge of the area before the Blues opened the scoring.


Kemy Agustien's cross struck Moritz Volz's arm and referee Iain Williamson immediately pointed to the spot.

McFadden made no mistake and planted his strike into the bottom left corner.

Jon Walters had come off the bench to replace Haynes and went close at the start of the second half but his low shot sailed a few yards wide before fellow substitute Darren Ambrose went close.

Ambrose cleverly placed his free-kick under the wall but Birmingham goalkeeper Maik Taylor made a sprawling stop.

The visitors began to control possession in midfield and the impressive Agustien came close to grabbing a second with 15 minutes remaining.

Franck Queudrue played the ball square from the left flank and Agustien drove into the area and smashed a left-footed strike toward the top corner but Richard Wright produced a fine save to turn the ball away.

That proved to be the final moment of quality as McLeish's side moved back onto the tails of Reading and leaders Wolves.

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Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Watford 12 24
2 Derby County 12 23
3 Middlesbrough 12 23
4 Norwich City 12 21
5 Nottingham Forest 12 21
6 Ipswich Town 12 20
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 20
8 Charlton Athletic 12 19
9 Bournemouth 12 18
10 Brentford 12 18
11 Sheffield Wednesday 12 17
12 Cardiff City 12 16
13 Blackburn Rovers 12 16
14 Leeds United 12 15
15 Rotherham United 12 15
16 Reading 12 15
17 Huddersfield Town 12 15
18 Millwall 12 13
19 Wigan Athletic 12 11
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 11
21 Birmingham City 12 11
22 Fulham 12 10
23 Bolton Wanderers 12 8
24 Blackpool 12 6